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Classification Farmers, cultivators
Religions Hinduism
Languages Konkani, Malayalam
Populated States Kerala
Ethnicity Kunbis of Goa
Subdivisions -

The Kudumbi (Malayalam: കുഡുംബി; also referred to as Kunubis, Kurumbi, or Kunbi) are traditionally a Konkani-speaking farming community residing in Kerala, India.[1][2] The majority of the group were farmers, labourers and petty workers settled across central and southern Kerala. Kudumbis are part of the larger KunbiKurmi diaspora, a generic farming community spread all over India, with the probable exception of only Jammu and Kashmir.


Goan legacy[edit]

The Kudumbi originate from the aboriginal Kunbi tribe of Goa, South West India where the prominent tribes are the Kunbi, Velip and Gowada, largely settled in the southern Canacona administrative region of the state. They are of Proto-Australoid stock and are believed to be the original inhabitants of Konkan. These communities do not fall either in the Chaturvarna System or Pancham Varna like Scheduled Caste or Out Castes. Kunbi, Velip and Gowada communities from Goa have historically been categoriesed as tribes by sociologists and historians. Social historians and researchers on Goa have emphasised that custom, rituals and religious patterns of Kunbi, Gowada and Velip communities are similar to Gonda and Kol Tribes and other descendant tribes in other parts of the country.

According to Goan historian Anant Ramakrishna Dhume, the Kunbi caste are modern descendants of ancient Mundari tribes. In his work Sri. Dhume mentions several words of Mundari origin in the Konkani language and also elaborates on the deities worshipped by the ancient tribe, their customs, methods of farming, etc.[3] The Portuguese, who ruled over Goa for over 500 years, considered the Kunbi, Velip and Gowada communities as Tribu, which means tribes. An injustice was meted out to these tribal communities as the Central Government failed to extend the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order 1950 to the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu immediately after the liberation of Goa in 1961.[4][5] Kunbis are included in ST list in Goa state only in the year 2002.[6] It is mentioned in the book People of India by Suresh Kumar Singh, Anthropological Survey of India (2003), Gujarat (page 731) that the term 'Kunbi' is derived from kun and bi meaning people and seeds, respectively. Fused together, the two terms mean "those who germinate more seeds from one seed".[7] In the book Caste and Race in India, author Sr. G S Ghurye has opined (page 31) that "Kurmi, Kanbi and Kunbi perhaps signify the occupation of the group, viz., that of cultivation, though it is not improbable that the name may of tribal origin."[8]

In 1510 A.D, Goa was captured by the Portuguese general Alfonso Albuquerque from the Adil Shah dynasty of Bijapur, and Portuguese rule was established. St. Francis Xavier, in a 1545 letter to John III of Portugal, requested an Inquisition to be installed in Goa. The inquisitor's first act was to forbid any open practice of the Hindu faith on pain of death. The Portuguese colonial administration enacted anti-Hindu laws to encourage conversions to Christianity. Prohibition was laid on rituals of Hindu marriages, cremation etc. In all, over 42 Hindu practices were prohibited. All the persons above 15 years of age were compelled to listen to Christian preaching or otherwise be punished. Several Hindu Temples were destroyed. An order was issued for suppressing the Konkani language and making it compulsory to speak the Portuguese language. The law provided for dealing toughly with anyone using the local language. Following that law all the non-Christian cultural symbols and the books written in local languages were sought out to be destroyed. In the first hundred years, the Inquisition burned 57 alive at the stake and 64 in effigy. Others were sentenced to various punishments, totalling 4,046.[9] The Kudumbi were forced to migrate from Goa following religious persecution by the Portuguese during the said infamous Goa Inquisition. The Kudumbis, along with Gouda Saraswat Brahmins (Malayalam: ഗൌഡ് സാരസ്വത്), Daivajnas and Vaishya Vanis who wanted to preserve their religious and cultural identity, migrated from Goa along the west coast of India, primarily through sea voyages.

Some of the groups that fled Goa landed in coastal districts of state of Karnataka, that is, the Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, and some groups voyaged further to Kerala.[10][11][12] One of these first exodus groups landed on the island of Cherai, near Paravur Taluk in the Ernakulam district of Kerala. They slowly migrated southwards from Ernakulam and settled in coastal areas including Kochi, (Cochin) Vypeen, North Paravur, Mala, Kerala, Kodungallur, Trichur, Kozhikode, Tellicherry, Kannur, Tripunithura, Alapuzha, Changanacherry, Kottayam, Thuravoor, Cherthala, Kayamkulam, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. The largest Kudumbi settlement is in Vypeen near Kochi. They were experts in paddy cultivation, especially in the low-lying fields of the Kerala Backwaters, and they pioneered cultivation of the well-known "Chettiverippu" strain of paddy rice, brought from Konkan (ref. Castes and Tribes of South India by E Thurston, Volume 4, 1909).

Kunbis of Goa,ladies wearing dethli

The Census Report of India, 1961 - Volume VII, Kerala (page 210) refers to the Kudumbi community, and it is recorded that,

"As to the fact that they were originally inhabitants of the area north Goa, there can be no doubt for the language, the ornament and the mode of dress of the woman show striking similarities with the present inhabitants of that area, proclaiming common origin. They are believed to have traveled by country crafts and landed at the sea port of towns Kerala which accounts for their concentration in places like Cranganore, Cochin, Parur, Kayamkulam, Alleppey, Purakkad and Quilon".[13] A small number of the Kudumbi are also found in cities like Bangalore, Mangalore, Mumbai and Delhi, particularly those members of the group who migrated from Kerala in search of better prospects and livelihood.

Early Cochin Princely State[edit]

No significant references are recorded about the Kudumbi Community in Kerala history. However tradition holds that Raja of Cochin gave the Gouda Saraswat Brahmins agricultural and other lands and certain other rights and privileges. The title of muppan was conferred on some respectable Kudumbi families by Rajas of Cochin to organise authority in each Kudumbi village.

According to the official census of 1901, in the pre-republic Cochin State, the Kudumbi were referred to as Kudumi Chetti or Idiya.[14](p369) In 1909, the Kudumbis were also referred to as Kudimmikars. A popular name of the caste was Idiya (pounder) in reference to the occupation of pounding rice. Kadiya, derived from the word Ghadiyal (a person possessed), is a term of reproach.[14][15][16]

Kudumbis were agricultural labourers in the vast paddy fields owned by rich temples that were run by the Gouda Saraswat Brahmin Community especially in Alapuzha, coastal areas of Ernakulam, and Kochi. Kudumbis once received a portion of their agricultural produce as payment for their labour on the lands owned by Gouda Saraswat Brahmins. Some made fireworks. Others were enlisted as soldiers by the Chieftains of Malabar and used to maintain military training–grounds in many of their houses.[14](p106)

Kudumbis were secluded from the main stream of Keralan society. Their culture differed from that of the Gouda Saraswat Brahmins.[17]

A group of Kudumbis may have migrated from Cochin to Travancore at the invitation of a Maharaja, Marthanda Varma and on arrival been given (free of tax), a coconut garden and land to grow rice. In return they were required to supply to the palace and temple Avil, free of cost.[18][19]

In 1937, M. Krishnan (later known as Gandhi Krishnan) formed an organisation called the All Cochin Kudumbi Association, whose members were Kudumbi students and youth living in Cochin. He then submitted a memorandum to the Maharaja of Cochin seeking concessions on educational fees for Kudumbi students. Aware of the social and educational disadvantages of the Kudumbi community, the maharajah ordered that the Kudumbis of his state be classified as "depressed" and granted educational-fee concessions. At that time, Santhalyan Master (1908–1973) was nominated as a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) in the legislative assembly of Cochin State. Santhalyan is the only MLC elected from the Kudumbi community.

The early 20th century saw a period of social, educational and cultural uplift of backward communities in Kerala led by reformers such as Narayana Guru, Pandit Karuppan, Ayyankali, Chattampi Swami, Sahodaran Ayyappan and Kumaran Asan. Inspired by these social reformers, Santhalyan Master and Gandhi Krishnan organised the Kudumbi community in a drive to eradicate illiteracy, superstitions and caste discrimination.

Current status[edit]

Many Kudumbis are expert in pandal (temporary building) or tent-erection work, and numerous temples call on their services during annual festivals. Kudumbis living around the Kerala backwaters are involved in large-scale shrimp farming, fishing and working at commercial aquaculture farms, while a few of them, especially those living around Vypeen, own deep sea fishing boats. Small-scale Pappad/Pappadum manufacturing is undertaken by many Kudumbis, especially around Kozhikode and Alapuzha. Despite their classification as one of Kerala's "backward" communities, in general their social backwardness remains unnoticed.Smt.K. R. Gowri Amma, a prominent figure in the communist movement in Kerala and Ex-Minister, in her autobiography narrates the backwardness of Kudumbi Community as:

"In the socio-political and in educational fields, the Kudumbis are backward. Very few of them are educated and officers are scarce. Kudumbi women do not wear a blouse but wrap the sari, sarong wise about them. In 1936, an association of young Kudumbis was established in Cochin and later in Travancore. In 1951, the two associations merged into one. Yet they have not achieved their rightful place in society. They have demanded that they be counted as scheduled castes. In reality their lot is worse than that of the scheduled castes".[3].[20] A vivid description of the Kudumbi Community is available in Chapter 13 of the book Keralathile Stala Charitrangal, Eranakulam Jilla[21] It is noted by the learned author that the main agricultural laborers in the islands around Kochi has been Pulaya and Kudumbi castes. It is also observed that during the Portuguese period, a lot of people belonging to Pulaya and Mukkuva castes were converted to Christianity. However Kudumbis adhered to their religion and language till last leg.[21]

In 1956, with the formation of the unified Kerala State under the Republic of India, education-fee concessions given to the Cochin Kudumbis were extended to cover the Travancore and Malabar regions. For the last few decades, the community has progressed educationally and financially to some extent, thanks to Land Reforms Act and educational concessions granted by the State Government. The community enjoys job reservation under Other Backward Classes OBC. The community is in the vanguard alongside other mainstream communities in competing to improve their social and economic status. There is a small number of elected representatives from the community in various gram panchayats (local self-governments), block panchayats and municipal corporations, especially in pockets where the community has a decisive voting majority.

The community is officially classified as within the Socially and Economically Backward Communities (SEBC)[22] by the State Government. Many students have utilized the benefits of reservation legislation to improve their lives. A mass struggle and hunger strike were organised by social organisation Kudumbi Seva Sanghom (KSS) during 2006–2007, demanding a 1% reservation for Kudumbis seeking admission to various professional courses in Kerala. In 2008 the State Government finally acceeded to the demand vide GO(MS)No.95/08/SC/ST dated 06.10.2008. Further Kudumbi community was totally exempted from creamy layer.[23] Kudumbi Community is one among eight categories of hereditary occupations/calling, which had been excluded from the category of 'creamy layer' on account of its “Social Backwardness” as per GO (P) No.81/09/SCSTDD dated 26 September 2009.[24] In the long run, this opportunity will help to remove the inherent social and educational backwardness of the community .The educated younger generation understands the value of education and voluntarily supporting the student community by organizing workshops, tuitions, scholarships and monetary support. [25]. The once socially introvert and reserved community now actively participates in social, cultural and political activities in their localities.[25] The once socially introvert and reserved community now actively participates in social, cultural and political activities in their localities. Sri K.V. Bhaskaran[26] contested as an independent candidate from Ernakulam parliamentary constituency in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He contested in the Lok Sabha elections to raise certain unfulfilled social demands raised by the kudumbi community during the last five decades .[27]

Caste status[edit]

Before independence, the Maharaja of Kochi, classified the Kudumbis of Kerala as a depressed class. However after India became a republic in 1950, the name of the community was omitted from the list of Scheduled Castes. On a number of occasions, the question of the Kudumbis inclusion in the Scheduled Caste list of Kerala state has been considered. Support has come from several politicians and notable people. Despite these efforts, the Kudumbi community is not a Scheduled Class.

In 1967, the Kerala state government recommended the inclusion of this community in the list of Scheduled Castes. In 1969, the parliamentary select committee examined the matter and visited Kerala. They collected evidence from individuals including officials, representatives and social workers. On 23 September 1969, the committee recommended the inclusion of the Kudumbi community in the Scheduled Castes list. The government accepted the recommendation and introduced an amendment bill including 42 communities in which Kudumbi community was listed twentieth.

The KIRTADS [28] submitted a report stating that the Kudumbis should be included in the Scheduled Caste list.[29] After his election on 23 March 1987, and when challenged in court, K. Karunakaran, former chief minister of Kerala, supported inclusion of Kudumbis in the list.[30] United Democratic Front (UDF)had assured to use maximum pressure on the center for including the Kudumbies in the SC list.[31][32] However the legitimate claim of the Kudumbi Community stands in the ST list and not in SC List. On 10 March 2008, Veerendra Kumar, member of parliament (MP) of the 14th Lok Sabha, writer and chairman and managing director of Mathrubhumi press, made mention before the parliament under rule 377 concerning the classification of the Kudumbis. He pointed to the community's poverty, low level of literacy and lack of ability to take any important government position.[33] On 4 May 2012, K. P. Dhanapalan MP, also made a special mention to the parliament about the classification of the Kudumbis.[34] In December 2011 in New Delhi, and on 30 May 2012 in Kochi a public protest was organised by supporters of the rights of the Kudumbi, including the Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy (Association for Defence of Democracy, J.S.S.) to demand inclusion of the community in the list of Scheduled Castes.

In her autobiography, the political activist K. R. Gowri Amma wrote,

"In the socio-political and in educational fields, the Kudumbis are backward...They have demanded that they be counted as scheduled castes. In reality their lot is worse than that of the scheduled castes."[35]

Kudubis of Karnataka ( who were migrated from Goa and settled in the coastal districts of Kartaka) are non - scheduled tribes and they are also suffering from problems including non - recognition as a tribe in Karnataka (Caste Practices and influences Affecting Tribals - A Case study of Kudubis of Karnataka by Dr.Y Ravindranath Rao)[36][37] Kudubis of Karnataka has also urged state Govt to include them in the Scheduled Tribe list.[38][39]


The Kudumbis speak their own dialect of the Konakani Language, which closely resembles original Goan Konkani. Kudumbis colloquially refer to Konkani as Kudumbi Bhaash (mother tongue of the Kudumbi). The older generation still prefer to speak this pure "Kudumbi Bhaash". Many among older generation can sing folk songs in Kudumbi Bhaash dedicated to Kurumba-Bhagavathy. Due to prolonged socio-economic pressures to maintain a bi-lingual format for verbal communication, Konkani has shifted towards the Malayalam language. This change is more pronounced among Kudumbis. For many decades there was no unified official script for Konkani until 1987 when it was declared the official language of Goa with Devanagiri as its official script. As a result many Kudumbi prefer Malayalam over Konkani for written and oral communication. There are a number of scholars in the community who have contributed significantly to Konkani literature in Kerala while Kudumbi Seva Sanghom has regularly participated in all India conferences, forums organised by Akhil Bharat Konkani Parishad, Goa and similar organisations. To nurture the Konkani language among Konkani-speaking communities, in 2009 teaching in Konkani began in three government schools located around the Western Ernakulam district where there is a sizable Kudumbi population. Many students participate in Konkani poetry recitations during annual cultural competitions organised by Kudumbi Seva Sanghom. Kudumbis living around Vypeen, Kodungallor, North Paravoor and the Trichur district speak the purest form of Konkani compared to other localities in southern Kerala. Konkani is regarded as the Amma Bhaash (mother language) and Malayalam as the Pootah Bhaash meaning the language by which one earns a livelihood. Kerala Government has recently initiated steps to recognise Konkani speaking community as a Linguistic minority in kerala. As a pioneering step taken by Kerala Govt,[40] Konkani Sahitya Academy- Kerala was inaugurated in Kochi on 2nd-March-2013. It comprises 21 nominated members from various konkani speaking socio-cultural groups in kerala. It also includes the nominees from kudumbi community.

Traditions and culture[edit]

The Kudumbis have a rich cultural heritage derived from their ancestors, the Goan Kunbis, while the great Marathi Saint and poet, Sant Tukaram was a Kunbi who lived in Maharashtra state. Every Kudumbi family makes an annual pilgrimage to Tirumala - Tirupati to seek the darshan (glimpse of the deity) of Lord Venkateshwara, offer their [Anguvanna] (preserved Hundi collection)[clarification needed] and pray for the family's prosperity. Kudumbis also conduct the Satyanarayana Puja to commemorate special occasions in their temples. This puja (Hindu observance) is also conducted in many Kudumbi households. Kudumbis have adopted Sakthi/Devi-puja (mother goddess) as a part of their religious tradition. Kudumbis worship Kurumba-Bhagavathy as their Kuldevta (mother deity). The Kochu Kodungallur devi (goddess) temples at Changanacherry and Kollam prove the devotion and historic connection of the Kudumbis with the Kurumba-Bhagavathy. Legend says that Kodungallur devi Bhagavathi protected the Kudumbi community during the exodus from Goa. Kudumbis from all over Kerala annually visit the Kurumba-Bhagavathy temple, preferably on the 1st day of Makaram in the Malayalam calendar, equivalent to January–February in the Gregorian calendar. Many Kudumbi women also offer the Suhasini puja to the devi on the same day in this temple. They also participate in the Onnam Talapoli (a traditional right given to Kudumbis to conduct the first Talapoli on this day). The occasion is also an informal matrimonial gathering for many Kudumbi families. Marriage alliances are negotiated by the elders for their children / grand children and many marriages are fixed.

Konkan Cuisine features "Gessi", a spicy dish made from chickpeas/Kala chana/ Kadala parripu (in Malayalam) / chonno (in Konkani) served during community functions. Patravaado is a leafy vegetable dish, which is highly nutritious and tasty. It is prepared from the large leaves of the root vegetable colocasia / taro or chembu (in Malayalam). Items made from "avil" or beaten rice, are also popular.

Traditionally, the Kudumbi follow a patriarchal system within the family. Also a bride's maternal uncle is given special honour during various marriage ceremonies. The pre-marriage ceremony starts with the engagement of the girl and boy, which is nowadays conducted at the girl's home. After the engagement, the boy's party have to honour the maternal uncle of the girl and get his formal consent for the marriage. This custom is also called mallam-ponno (visiting uncle's house). Before the marriage day, the ceremony called sakkido is conducted, which involves five noble men (called sajjari or chow-gule in Kudumbi) from the bridegroom's locality viting the bride's house then giving her dressing materials and some traditional items as gifts. In former days when the marriage was held at the bridegroom's house, after the visit of the sakkido, the bride was supposed to be handed over respectfully to bridegroom's family. The marriage is officially completed by fastening the traditional mangalsutra or thaali and finally by performing the saptapadi (seven steps). Unlike the Keralite Aalila thaali (resembling a Pipal leaf), the traditional Kudumbi thaali is a round golden locket containing the ensign of goddess Mahalakshmi with two black beads tied to it.The recent trendy hybrid Thaali is the Aalila thaali with ensign of goddess Mahalakshmi, found widely used by younger generation.

Marriage is now a one-day affair, which asserts an individual's social and financial status especially among the neo-rich; a practice gradually being emulated by lower income groups. Most Kudumbi marriage customs are camouflaged by local customs and in practice are few. The dowry system which was unheard-of in the community, has become a necessary social evil in many Kudumbi marriages. The recent trend of marrying a non-community partner is fast catching up, especially found among the creamy layer or professionals. Preference of economic prosperity over the cultural identity is one of the reason for this trend. Though not alarming now, it will lead to social imbalance, affecting the identity of the minority status of kudumbis.

Seemantham (also known as pulikudi or jawana in Kudumbi) is performed during the seventh month of pregnancy. On an auspicious day, relatives of both in-laws visit the pregnant lady. A special item called polli (in Kudumbi) and seven types of sweets are distributed. Elder women and in-laws then bless the lady and wish for good progeny.

According to the Kudumbi tradition, the naming ceremony for a newborn baby is called shetti although this has now been replaced with the local tradition of irupattiettukettal. The ceremony takes place on the 28th or 56th day after the child's birth – the first time that the nakshatram (star) of the child repeats according to the Malayalam calendar.

A period of ten days is observed in mourning for the deceased. After that, the last rites or shraaddha and spindi ceremonies are performed on the thirteenth day and led by the eldest son of the family. According to the priest or astrologer's advice, the shraaddha ceremony may involve a homa, or fire sacrifice in which offerings are made to the ancestors and to the gods to ensure the deceased has a peaceful afterlife. Thirteen noble men from the locality, preferably non-blood relatives who have already performed last rites for their departed parents, are honoured with a feast and given alms. They bless the bereaved family and pray for the eternal peace of the departed soul. Thereafter all the nearest relatives and local contacts participate in the feast. After one year, the same rites are conducted on the same day also known as orsikkau (in Konkani). Some visit holy places like Aluva or Varkala to bury the mortal remains of the deceased in the river or sea shore and thereby finish the last rites. The Kudumbis of the Alapuzha, Kollam and Kottayam districts give more prominence to the spindi ceremony conducted on the 13th day, whereas those from the Ernakulam and Trichur districts give more prominence to the sanjayanam (immersion of ashes) ceremony conducted on the 3rd to 5th day after death. This a typical example of the cultural diffusion found in Kudumbi customs. Unlike the kerala tradition, as per Kudumbi traditions, the grandchildren of the deceased are not supposed to perform any last rites if their parents are alive.

Cultural diffusion and language convergence[edit]

For decades the Kudumbi led a socially secluded life. During the late 19th century in Kerala, when a socio-cultural revival took place in many backward communities, the Kudumbi opened themselves up to mainstream socio-cultural and economic developments. Unfortunately, newer socio-economic and cultural changes in the community spurred a slow reverse cultural diffusion.[19] This has created a language shift among the younger generation, who now prefer to speak Malayalam to Konkani, with Malayalam also used for written communication. The convergence of the Konkani and Malayalam languages is more pronounced among the Kudumbi. Unlike their Konkani peers, Kudumbis have no spiritual Guru, no central authority and no dominant figure in the community. As a result, many Kudumbi customs have regional disparities and many have vanished from its cultural ethos altogether. Mainstream peer influences compelled many to blindly adopt the local or dominant socio-cultural values. But in spite of this cultural diffusion, funeral rites (antyesti) rites and some religious ceremonies (poojas) are widely conducted according to Kudumbi customs.

Kudumbi temples[edit]

Traditionally, many Kudumbi localities have their own devili (temples) that are owned by a trust, committee or family from the local community. Most of the Kudumbi temples are dedicated to Devi or Vishnu, although a few of them to Lord Shiva. Following the exodus to Kerala, the Kudumbi were unable to maintain contact with their Goan brethren such that for decades the Kudumbi have absorbed other local cultures into their ethos. Unlike other Konkani-speaking communities, the Kudumbis do not have any traditional kuldevtas (family deities) in their temples, while they are all built using traditional Kerala temple architecture and follow the rituals, customs traditions, festivals and pujas in the Kerala tradition. The pujarii or priests in Kudumbi temples are usually Gouda Saraswat Brahmins, Nampoothiris or Ezhavas, and few temples have priests from the Kudumbi community. Kudumbis worship Sri Kurumba Bhagavathi of Kodungallor as their kuladevi. The annual festivals in Kudumbi temples may last for three to ten days. The women offer a traditional puja popularly known as Suvasini or the Suhasini Puja, which is performed exclusively in Kudumbi temples. In order to commemorate special occasions, the Satyanarayana Puja is conducted in some Kudumbi temples. According to Kerala tradition, the ceremony of Talapoli, as a procession of ladies carrying oil lamps accompanied by chenda (percussion instruments) or tappu melam, can be seen during the festivals in these devi temples. The traditional haampu (multi-stacked portable brass lamp or a similar stone lamp) found in a number of Kudumbi temples is lit on special puja days. Votive items made from Aval (puffed rice) or beaten rice and jaggery are still offered as prasadam in many Kudumbi temples. Holi—the festival of colours—is celebrated in many Devi temples by the Kudumbi. During this festival, "Kamadeva" (Bodhan) the symbolic entity of "Kama" will be burnt to fire, purifying the life of all who participate in the festival. There will be a procession on the streets where all the participants will be applying colour each other, dancing with songs sung in Kudumbi language. Youngsters and children go in a group, pour water from a yellow pot kept in front of every house, and finally gather at their local devili temple.[41] In the night there will be a special group dance by women (fuguda) by gathering in a circle and clapping and doing brisk movements. After this there will be delicious dinner and food will be offered to souls. Even Kudumbis of Karnataka, who had migrated from Goa along with their brethren in Kerala and other places continue to celebrate their traditional festival 'holi' by preserving their own unique culture.[42][43]


Holi, Onam, Vishu, Navarathri,Ashtami Rohini, Sivarathri, Nagapanchami and the Mandala Puja are some of the festivals celebrated by the Kudumbi. Onam and Vishu are Kerala festivals which have been adapted as Kudumbi traditional festivals. These festivities all have regional variations.

Social organizations[edit]

Kudumbi Seva Sanghom (KSS), Kerala Kudumbi Federation, Kudumbi Seva Samiti, Kudumbi Samajam and Kudumbi Karayogams, Kudumbi Mahajana Sabha-Vypeen are the social organisations representing the community in Kerala. KSS is the predominant organisation representing the majority of Kudumbis in Kerala, and it supports the social, educational and cultural uplifting of the community.

Educational Institutions[edit]

  • S.N.G.S.U.P. School, Kakkathuruthy, Trisur - Owned and managed by the Kudumbi Education Trust (KET), under KSS.
  • Mahathma College and Saraswathy Vidhya mandir, North Paravoor - Owned and managed by the Kudumbi Education Society (KES), North Paravor.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Loes Ch. Schenk-Sandbergen (1988). Poverty and survival: Kudumbi female domestic servants and their households in Alleppey, Kerala. Manohar Publications. p. 37. Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Georges Kristoffel Lieten; Olga Nieuwenhuys; Loes Ch. Schenk-Sandbergen; Werkgemeenschap Zuid-Azië (1 June 1989). Women, migrants, and tribals: survival strategies in Asia. Manohar Publications. p. 124. Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Dhume, Anant Ramkrishna (1986). The cultural history of Goa from 10000 B.C.-1352 A.D.(see pages 53, 94, 83, 95)
  4. ^ Parliamentary Committee Observation /recommendation regarding inclusion of Gowada, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Communities of Goa in the list of Scheduled Tribes
  5. ^ Parliamentary Committee Observation /recommendation regarding inclusion of Gowada, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Communities of Goa in the list of Scheduled Tribes
  6. ^ Caste system in Goa
  7. ^ http://books.google.co.in/books?id=d8yFaNRcYcsC&redir_esc=y
  8. ^ http://books.google.co.in/books?id=nWkjsvf6_vsC&redir_esc=y
  9. ^ Goa Inquisition
  10. ^ Tribal Tradition and Change: A study of Kudubis of South India, by Dr.Y Ravindranath Rao.
  11. ^ http://books.google.co.in/books/about/Tribal_Tradition_and_Change.html?id=a5M4AAAACAAJ&redir_esc=y
  12. ^ http://www.anthropologywa.org/iuaes_aas_asaanz_conference2011/0040.html#s1p2
  13. ^ The Census Report of India (1961). Vol. VII, Kerala, p. 210.
  14. ^ a b c Thurston E. Castes and Tribes of South India. 1909, Volume 4.
  15. ^ Menon M. Census of India - 1901- Volume XX A- Cochin Part II Imperial Tables p76 - 78.
  16. ^ Anantha L and Iyer K. The Cochin Tribe and Castes. Diwan, Bahadur, 1909 Volume 2 Chapter 14 p386.
  17. ^ Larsen K. "Faces of Goa and Kudumbi: a journey through history and cultural evolution." Gyan Publishing House. ISBN 8121205840, 9788121205849.
  18. ^ Marthanda Varma (1706–1758). Travancore State Archives records.
  19. ^ a b Thampuran R. "Convergence and language shift: a case study of the Kudumbis of Kerala." Ciil-ebooks website.
  20. ^ 'Atmakatha', by K R Gouri Amma
  21. ^ a b Sri. V V K Valath (1991). Keralathile Stala Charitrangal, Eranakulam Jilla. Second Edition, 2006, published by Kerala Sahitya Academy.
  22. ^ SEBC list of Kerala State Govt
  23. ^ GO(MS)No.95/08/SC/ST dated 6 October 2008
  24. ^ GO (P) No.81/09/SCSTDD dated 26 September 2009
  25. ^ http://vidhyasree-kudumbi.weebly.com
  26. ^ http://eciresults.nic.in/ConstituencywiseS1112.htm?ac=12 ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA GENERAL ELECTION TO LOK SABHA TRENDS & RESULT 2014
  27. ^ [1] KOCHI: K V Bhaskaran, the independent candidate of Ernakulam Lok Sabha constituency, has obtained the second highest number of votes in the state by an independent candidate without the backing of any political party. Bhaskaran clinched 22,683 votes, which is a major vote share considering his foothold in the Kudumbi community.
  28. ^ http://www.kirtads.kerala.gov.in/
  29. ^ "Kudumbi." New Indian Express.
  30. ^ "Scheduled Caste view." Rishabhdara website.
  31. ^ Politics of Democracy and Decentralisation in India. A Case Study of Kerala by M R Biju
  32. ^ http://books.google.co.in/books?id=rBPhlynHQ4EC&pg=PA15&lpg=PA15&dq=kudumbis+of+kerala&source=bl&ots=NxQlIT23oW&sig=WRyFKXoZjABVui2z3GXWUIKr_Hg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=SgMUU8bTPIGPrQffuIGwBA&ved=0CEgQ6AEwBjha#v=onepage&q=kudumbis%20of%20kerala&f=false
  33. ^ Indian Kanoon website
  34. ^ Indian Kanoon website
  35. ^ Nair J. R. and Nair H. [2] Samyukta website.
  36. ^ Eradication of Caste and birth of new Humanity, edited by D M Ravi Prasad
  37. ^ http://books.google.co.in/books?id=sxw57oVgShIC&pg=PA46&lpg=PA46&dq=kudubi+karnataka+goa&source=bl&ots=mWZluPatvj&sig=_aKUxR916Pktkv_7GkTEvbcNWz8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=7JgRU-baDISFrAf0s4GQBQ&ved=0CEYQ6AEwCDgK#v=onepage&q=kudubi%20karnataka%20goa&f=false
  38. ^ Hindu Newspaper Report
  39. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/kudubi-samajodh-sangha-seeks-st-status/article2519959.ece
  40. ^ Konkani Sahitya Academy- Kerala
  41. ^ Holi -extract from a newspaper
  42. ^ Holi celebrated by Kudumbis of Udupi District Karnataka
  43. ^ Holi celebrated by Kudumbis of Mangalore District Karnataka


  • The Kurmis-Kunbis of India by Pratap Singh Velip Kankar. Published by Pritam Publishers PajiFord, Margoa, Goa Year -2006.
  • 1956 An Introduction to the Study of Indian History (Popular Book Depot, Bombay) - D.D. Kosambi.

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